Teaching Self-Determination in Alaskan Schools: A Toolkit for Educators

Product Type

Contact Information

 Ordering Information 

 Curriculum, Reproducible Forms,  
 Trainer's Guide or Manual
  Julie Atkinson
  Phone: 907-264-6250 
 Product Page on the
 Universitiy of Alaska,  
 Center for Human

Resources for: Families | People with Disabilities | Professionals | General

Universitiy of Alaska, Center for Human Development
Universitiy of Alaska, Center for Human Development
Publication Date: August 2003

Direct Support Professionals, Educators, Parents, Professionals, Self-advocates, Service Coordinators/Supports Brokers, school administrators

5-13, 14-21, 22-64

Decision-making, Self-regulation, Self-management, Independent Living, Social Effectiveness, Social Competency, Self-advocacy, Goal-setting, Self-sufficiency, Personal Responsibility, Problem Solving, Coping

Educates Others About SD , Promotes Choice-making

Education and Lifelong Learning, Future Planning, Health and Safety, Home and Community Living, Person-Centered and Student-centered Planning, Self-advocacy and Leadership, Self-directed Services & Supports, Transition


The self determination toolkit was developed for teachers, parents, students, and others who are interested in promoting self-determination within school, home, and community settings, The primary audience is special educators, although information can be used by professionals in other settings. The toolkit contains 13 lesson plans on various elements of self- determination that can be used in conjunction with a subject class or as a stand alone session.

How the Product was Developed

The toolkit was piloted in 2003 - 2004 and included students with disabilities receiving special education services.

The toolkit was developed based on the self- determination literature.

How the Product was Implemented

The toolkit is designed as a self-directed learning resource; primarily for educators. Our data have shown that the toolkit is more effective if the educator has previous knowledge or training in the the area of self-determination.

Professional staff

A/V Equipment, Facilitators/Trainers, Computers, Materials/Handouts

The Extent to Which the Product has Been Used

The Toolkit has been disseminated through mail, website, courses, conference, and organization presentations.

The toolkit contains detailed lesson plans and associated handouts or worksheets and assessments. There is research information and links to other websites.

The toolkit is a web-based resource. Between July 1, 2006 to February 28, 2011 there have been almost 40,000 visits to the website.

The Extent to Which the Product or Approach has Been Evaluated


  • User satisfaction studies


This was an unpublished study; Authors: Karen Heath, M.S., Doreen Lacy, M.A., Karen Ward, Ed.D, Sharon Cannon, Kelly Donnelly, M.P.A., and Erin Trimble. University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development

Two surveys, one with teachers who had contact with the project, and one with special educators in Alaska to: 1) identify the elements of self-determination being taught; 2) identify reasons that self-determination skills were not being taught; 3) assess the influence of the AK self-determination toolkit on self-determination instruction; 4) obtain feedback. Findings suggest that the CHD Self-Determination Toolkit has had a positive impact on the use of self-determination strategies by Alaskan teachers. There were statistically significant differences between those who had experience using the Toolkit and those who had no experience in the areas of involving students in educational planning meetings, teaching problem solving, and teaching self-advocacy and leadership skills. Among secondary teachers who had experience with the Toolkit, they were more likely to implement person centered planning than those who had no experience with the Toolkit.


Resources for: Families | People with Disabilities | Professionals | General